The 'Stillwater' actor is stirring controversy after opening up about why he quit using an anti-LGBTQ slur.
Matt Damon is facing criticism after revealing that he just recently stopped using an offensive anti-LGBTQ slur. The change came, he said, after he was implored by one of his daughters to stop.
The backlash began after the Stillwater star gave a lengthy interview with U.K.'s The Sunday Times over the weekend. As part of a larger discussion about the shifting landscape of Hollywood and cultural sensibilities -- and "changes in modern masculinity" -- Damon shared a story with the outlet about his own use of an offensive term that he's now retired.
According to the actor, his daughter (whom he did not name) called him out for using what she termed "the f-slur for a homosexual," and penned a letter to the actor that convinced him to quit using it.
"I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter," recalled Damon, who shares three kids -- daughters Isabella, 15, Gia, 12, and Stella, 10 -- with wife Luciana Barroso. "She left the table. I said, 'Come on, that's a joke! I say it in the movie Stuck on You!' She went to her room and wrote a very long, beautiful treatise on how that word is dangerous. I said, 'I retire the f-slur!' I understood."
It's unclear which of Damon's daughters penned the "treatise" that changed his mind, but the actor did explain why he was still using the term as recently as a few months ago.
"The word that my daughter calls the 'f-slur for a homosexual' was commonly used when I was a kid," Damon said, "with a different application."
Damon's admission drew quick criticism on social media, with many questioning why he felt the term was OK in the first place, and why it took him so long to realize how offensive it can be. Others questioned why he chose to tell that story at all.
ET has reached out to Damon's rep for further comment.
Damon himself seemingly predicted the possibility of backlash in the same Sunday Times interview when he said he's learned to not say as much in interviews, as his comments are more likely to be picked apart in the modern media landscape.
"Twenty years ago, the best way I can put it is that the journalist listened to the music more than the lyrics [of an interview],” Damon opined. "Now, your lyrics are getting parsed, to pull them out of context and get the best headline possible. Everyone needs clicks."
"Before it didn't really matter what I said, because it didn't make the news. But maybe this shift is a good thing," he added. "So I shut the f**k up more."